Ty Tribble's MLMBlog has posted a story about a new multi-billion dollar lawsuit involving MonaVie, the multi-level marketing juice company recently joined by thousands of TEAM affiliated former Quixtar IBOs, including Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady. MonaVie's top distributor is former Amway Double Diamond Brig Hart.
The lawsuit has been filed by Imagenetix, manufacturer of an "esterified fatty acid" with the trademarked name of Celadrin. According to the lawsuit, in early 25 MonaVie purchased small amounts of Celadrin from two Imagenetix distributors. The Celadrin distributors notifed MonaVie that if MonaVie decided to use the product in their juices, then they would be issued with a sub-licence to use the Celadrin trademark in conjunction with MonaVie.
MonaVie apparently added small amounts of Celadrin to one of their products for a brief time in 25, but never purchased further supplies of Celadrin, and never obtained the sub-licence to use the Celadrin trademark. Despite this, there exist over 1, webpages advertising MonaVie as containing Celadrin and promoting Celadrin's health benefits – including recent sites by TEAM affiliated former Quixtar IBOs, the major MonaVie training company, Black Diamond University, and even a document still available on MonaVie's own corporate website. According to the Imagentix There also exists video footage from February this year (28) of MonaVie's top distributor, Black Diamond Brig Hart, explicitly describing Celadrin as an ingredient in MonaVie Active and touting Celadrin's health benefits.
US Trademark law has quite explicit penalties for violations, and they are severe. From my reading so far, unless MonaVie has a contract that Imagenetix has missed, their only really defence will be to claim that responsibility lies with each of the individual distributors. To do so will not only alienate tens of thousands of distributors, it will of course leave them alone to defend themselves in the case, potentially bankrupting them and devasting the MonaVie distributor force.
And there's one further blow to MonaVie's credibility embedded in the complaint – Imagenetix scientists analysed MonaVie Active during the brief amount of time (a few months) that it did contain Celadrin. They found each bottle had so little as to render it completely ineffective.
UPDATE: MonaVie is claiming Imagenetix is withdrawing the lawsuit and that "As a show of good faith, we’ve reached an agreement to once again include Celadrin® in MonaVie Active." A show of good faith? Sounds more like a settlement to me.
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